In October 2014, Neal Gibson, a self-proclaimed family man with three children, went to work as normal in North Wales, doing a job he loved as a cement pump operator. Having left school at 16, working in the construction sector for a number of years he had become highly skilled at his job.
That day, he was instructed by his boss to clean out the pump. While he was doing so, his left leg became trapped and was crushed by the machinery. Neal was rushed to hospital where he immediately had his left foot amputated, followed some months later by the need to have a transtibial or below-knee amputation.
Before the accident, Neal and his family were very active, enjoying mountain biking and hiking at the weekends. Following the accident, Neal understandably suffered very severe depression at not being able to do the job he loved and no longer being able to support his family and enjoy their time together.
Jennifer Buchanan took over Neal’s case three years after the accident. Two other law firms had been unsuccessful in helping Neal and he was rightly very dissatisfied with the service they offered and their lack of progress.
Once Jenny became involved, she immediately instructed a highly skilled case manager to provide urgently needed help for the whole family to cope with the extreme changes to their lives and circumstances. This involved moving them into suitable accommodation and organising appropriate physical and psychological therapies not just for Neal but also the children.
One of Neal’s biggest anxieties was not being able to work and being housebound, unable to have the fun he had previously with his children and wife.
Neal decided to support his son getting involved with BMX racing, something he’d enjoyed in his youth. Not only did his son take the sport with amazing speed, Neal himself soon began riding and now regularly competes in national events among able-bodied riders, the only rider with a prosthetic leg.
Neal’s problems are by no means over. He must work hard to manage his prosthetic and fitness and he continues to be frustrated at not being able to work. But Jenny’s work to achieve settlement from his former employer who did not offer sufficient training to keep Neal safe has allowed him to regain confidence, quality of life and a new zest for living.
“After three years since my accident and three years using slow non active solicitors, I contacted Fieldfisher and spoke to Jennifer Buchanan. From very early on in the conversation I realised she was very knowledgeable. A case manager was appointed, I moved into suitable accommodation with my family and started using multiple prostheses for different activities. I found the confidence and motivation to start BMX racing with my two youngest children all over the UK. It is very challenging being the only rider wearing a prosthesis, but I soon became the first amputee to compete in the British BMX Championships. I have now qualified and raced at two British Champs. I strongly believe this wouldn’t have been achieved had I not had the backing and support of Fieldfisher looking after my case. Me and my family are extremely grateful.”
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Jennifer Buchanan successfully settled a claim for Neil Gibson, who had to have a below-knee amputation after becoming trapped and crushed by machinery at work.
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